ArduCopter 3.0.1 has been released and is now available in the Mission Planner, firmware.diydrones.com, GitHub and the new Downloads Area.

Warning #1: Compass calibration and reducing interference is far more important than with 2.9.1b

Warning #2: GPS glitches can cause sudden and aggressive position changes while in loiter mode.  You may wish to reduce the Loiter PID P to 0.5 (from 1.0) to reduce aggressiveness (see image below of where this gain can be found in mission planner).

Warning #3: optical flow is not supported but will be back in the next release (AC-3.0.2 or AC-3.1.0).

Warning #4: loiter turns does not maintain altitude.  This bug will be fixed in AC-3.0.2.

Warning #5: This release has only been lightly tested on Traditional Helicopters.

Improvements over 2.9.1b include:

  • Inertial Navigation for Loiter and Auto meaning much more accurate control (Randy,Leonard,JonathanC)
  • 3D navigation controller follows straight lines in all dimensions between waypoints (Leonard,Randy)

         WPNAV_SPEED, WPNAV_SPEED_UP, WPNAV_SPEED_DN, WPNAV_ACCEL allows configuring speeds and acceleration during missions

  • "compassmot" to compensate for interference on compass from the pdb, motors, ESCs and battery.  (Randy,JonathanC) (Set-up video here)
  • Safety improvements:
    • simple Tin Can shaped Geo Fence
    • pre-arm checks to ensure all calibration has been performed before arming (can be disabled by setting ARMING_CHECK to zero).  (video description here)
    • GPS failsafe - switches to LAND if GPS is lost for 5 seconds
    • stability patch improvements to stop rapid climbs in very overpowered or overtuned copters
  • Circle mode improvements including "panorama" when CIRCLE_RADIUS set to zero (Randy,Leonard)
  • SONAR_GAIN parameter added to allow better tuning of sonar surface tracking
  • CH8 auxiliary switch (same features as CH7)
  • works on PX4 (some minor features still not available) (Tridge,PatH)

How to upgrade:

1. Make sure you are using Mission Planner 1.2.59 or newer (get it here)

2. Click on the MissionPlanner's Hardware, Install Firmware screen.  The version numbers should appear as "ArduCopter-3.0.1", then click the appropriate frame icon and it should upgrade as per usual.

3. Reduce the Loiter and Alt Hold PIDs if you have modified them from the defaults.  The modified PID values for the 3DR frame can be seen in the image below.

Note: Nav parameters have been combined with Loiter so do not be concerned if you can't find them.

4. Although not directly related to this release, if you purchased an APM prior to March of 2013, update your PPM encoder to the latest firmware (instructions here).

5. Try out the new version in stabilize mode first, then alt-hold, then loiter and finally RTL and Auto.

Numerous How-To videos are available:

Special Thanks to MarcoDaveC and the large number of testers on the pre-release thread who put their copters at risk during the extended testing period.  Some of their videos can be found hereherehereherehere and here.  Thanks also to MichaelO for the MP changes required for this release.

All feedback welcome.  Please put your questions, comments (good and bad!) below.

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Yes, Marco. I to have brought it up in other forums. It is now a big deal since someone has done it and published the Take Over HACK. It is even more possible now for radio interference. It would be easy to create a device that could just make our machines drop out of the sky or fly away. Known as radio jamming. Or a white wall of noise to power over one of our frequencies and bandwidth.

I'd think to hack other of our craft  - If someone understands patterns it would be more accessible to hack our machines via understood patterns than actually deciphering the messages. Example: If you know the music then you can recognize the tune. If someone patterns our communications then they'd know the message format and be able to duplicate or mimic the patterns to take control. If the program samples fast enough then it could run hack type tests for certain responses then take over. Yes, sophisticated but, not very difficult today with what is known and a little thought and time. Could even program a camera to recognize the craft, each flight attitude and as it tests when a test signal matches a known attitude document it giving the perpetrator a dictionary of command/patterns to manually operate the machine. [What a World!]

Oh, Marco - Thanks for your continuing great videos. Very Helpful!

Brian.

I think it's still possible to fly in this case.  Look at the image Randy provided, but do NOT assume that you will cut the motor #1 (pink).

Pitch control can still be done by varying the balance of 3-5 and 4-6 motor pairs, just as we do now.  No problem. 

To control the yaw, you'll have to have 4-5 run generally faster than 1-3-6.  It should be possible, assuming you have enough headroom on the throttle.

Roll control becomes an act of balancing off 1 vs. 3-6.  You should be able to do this while maintaining yaw control.  As long as 1+3+6 is the same as 4+5, the yaw will be balanced.  

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Gary Mortimer - I did not find quick information on 7GHz or WRC. Could you provide some links or more key words - please.

Randy -

Has anyone tried simply mounting two motors to each arm and running them from the APM in pairs? That is sending motor signals 1,2,3,4,etc to two each motors at 1,2,3,4,etc positions? Does this work to fly?

Brian.

Very good :D

R.L. A clear password exchange would work for a number of years and possibly more for a hobbyist or all the other roaming flyer/photographers. The SkyJack/HiJack situation is more likely to occur as someone would see a vehicle operating and then get their equipment to perform the deed. The communication initiation is open air - the link initiation should only last a few ms and the odds of catching it is remote. Unless of course the hacker is waiting and 'Recording' all air borne communications in the area on the flying frequencies. So - for the big aerospace company - it may be a problem for where you work but, the hobby guy running out to the field that first <1s is practically impossible to capture. How do you shoot a bird when you don't know where it will be or when? Password would be a Good Quick Hack to the APM for another layer of security but, as I noted in another posting - Pattern Recognition would be easy still to implement even with encryption.

I've got an APM 2.6, but that shouldn't make a difference. On Win 7 Professional. 

It's strange. Everything else works. It flies well in 3.01 and everrything!  I can connect direct without problems, or connect with telemetry, read or change parameters.

The principal problem is that it doesn't get a board configuration.I waited for more than 10 minutes for it to get a board config, and gave up.

If it does manage to respond, it's after a 2 to 3 minutes and says 2560 board.

The light patterns of the APM 2.6 don't change from the normal. blinkimg blue and red.

To double check, I got my IRIS, and tried a program load on it, and it worked fine. Just like in the books.

So the problem seems to be limited to the X8.

Version 3.01 works pretty well, so I could leave it there, but that's not the idea...

Actually there is a bug in auto... it only does the first WayPoint, and just stays there.Another reason to need to try and reload it.

Any help appreciated.

Ok I found the problem. I cant believe I overlook to set it to H and not X after all the double checking. It seems sometimes I cant find the answer until Ive already posted the question.

Nothing wrong with being able to solve your own problems. ;)

i cant wait to use that function. i suggested that this function include parameters that allow an ascent or descent while circling. i hope that makes it in this release. very cinematic shot as far as i am concerned :)

It needs a wider circle radius param, now it works only 127m maximum (i had 200m fortress to film)

. If you want to modify altitude, simply rise your throttle.

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